Did you know India received the polio-free tag from WHO under Ghulam Nabi Azad?

Updated: Mar 07, 2020, 08:29 | Saumya Gourisaria
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad is an Indian politician. He is a member of the Indian National Congress. He was born on 7th March 1949. Earlier, he was the Minister of Health and Family Welfare and presently serves as the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.

  • During the reign of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Azad was the Parliamentary Affairs Minister of India. On 27Th October 2005, he was appointed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. 

  • Azad was born in a village named Soti of tehsil Gandoh in Jammu and Kashmir. He graduated from GGM Science College and completed his masters in Zoology from the University of Kashmir. 

  • He was married to Shrimati Shameem Dev Azad on 27 March 1980. His hobbies include gardening, meeting people and participating in cultural activities. Azad is well-known for his organisational skills.


  • Azad entered the world of politics at the age of 24 and has been a member of the Congress Working Committee for over 18 years which is close to the longest period served by any other party leader. 

  • It was under him that India received the tag of a polio-free country from WHO. The success of the Polio Eradication Programme is attributed to his strategic investments and measures.  

  • Another project of Azad was National Aid Control Programme. He launched the 4th phase of the program with an objective of 'reducing stigma and discrimination against HIV infected and affected persons.'

  • Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Block Secretary of Congress Committee of Blessa. In the year 1975, he was appointed as the President of Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Youth Congress. 

  • In the year 1977, he was nominated as President of Congress Committee of Doda district and was later elected as the General Secretary of All India Youth Congress.

  • Azad has been associated with various political and social organizations like IX Asian Games, 1982, Board of Directors in the Associated Journals Limited, Indian Goodwill Haj Delegation to Saudi Arabia, 1987 and more. 

  • Azad met Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama during an international conference on terrorism in New Delhi. The Jama Masjid Forum organised the conference on 'Terrorism National and International.' 

  • Recently, speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Azad requested the government to table a statement regarding North-East Delhi violence on the floor of the House, on which a discussion can be conducted.

  • Speaking in House, Azad said, "Since the government has decided to hold a discussion on Delhi violence on March 11, we request that if the government puts a statement on the floor of the House, the discussion should be confined to it only."

  • A few years ago, Azad had vowed to expand the National Rural Health Mission, which had mobilised half a million health workers, all across India, and later his ministry also launched a National Urban Health Mission, to serve the slum dwelling urban poor. 

  • He had suggested a late marriage age of between 25 and 30 for population control and had said that lack of electricity and thereby absence of TV entertainment in rural areas would cause people to produce more children.

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About The Gallery

Ghulam Nabi Azad was born on March 7, 1949. He is an Indian politician of the Indian National Congress and was the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Currently, he serves as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

All photos: AFP